Student loan forgiveness: Borrowers push Congress for regulation of private loan industry next

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While millions of federal student loan borrowers are now eligible for loan forgiveness, not everyone currently paying off those loans will get the relief.


Roughly two million Americans are paying off private student loans, which aren’t included in the federal debt relief plan.

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Private loans account for about eight percent of student loan debt throughout the country. Borrowers who refinanced their loans with private companies to get a lower interest rate are also excluded from the president’s debt relief plan.

“We are in an uphill battle there for sure,” Matt Royer of the Young Democrats of America said. “It’s a lot of hoops to jump through when it comes to the private industry.”

Royer says President Biden’s plan is a good first step to help borrowers struggling to pay off their debt. He thinks the government should do more to crack down on the skyrocketing cost that colleges charge, and the interest rates and fees from private student loan lenders.

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“I do think we have a precedent of regulating private industry one way or the other, so it’s definitely something we have to work on,” Royer said.

Not everyone has been on board with the federal government forgiving student loan balances. Small business owner Bryan Lonsberry says it’s not fair to others who already paid off their debt.

“It’s a little upsetting that we kept paying and struggled through everything and then other people just gave up and quit,” Lonsberry said.

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Congress has taken steps to regulate private industry when it comes to credit cards.

More than a decade ago, they passed a law beefing up consumer protections and disclosures. However, so far, there is no federal legislation to address private student loans.

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